i've sort of made a rod for my own back here; there is no real way i can review the first of rapha's online movies, then ignore the second one. firstly, it would be disrespectful to adrian moat, the person responsible for two broad arrows, even though there's a pretty good chance that neither he nor nick livesey, progenitor of last week's a throw of the dice, go anywhere near thewashingmachinepost.
i'm hoping that there are others amongst you who got the wrong end of the stick, and thought that two broad arrows was about the great sean kelly, formerly of four green jerseys and latterly of sitting next to david harmon. in a way it's about the spirit of sean kelly, but i had assumed (makes an ass out of you and me) i was about to watch a film about sean's early days and how he first got the bike.
in fact, finding out that a movie is not what you thought it was (same goes for books), is generally ok by me, provided what it turned out to be was something as good as or better than what i thought it might have been. to curtail this beating about the bush, i loved this movie, possibly for all the wrong reasons, but no stipulations were made at the beginning, so i can enjoy it any way i want.
i loved that the titles were skewed at the same angle as the row of houses; i loved that the bicycle in the shed had the cables coming out the top of the brake levers; and i loved that the roads and scenery were darned near identical to the world inhabited by me. single track roads that merge into the grass on each side, dods of agricultural outpourings, sheep that run across the road unannounced, a sheepdog and even a cattle grid. it is my contention that cattle grids ought to feature in every uk sportive, and i will likely pen an e-mail to monsieur prudhomme demanding the same for at least one stage of next year's tour.
this movie surely contains every element of cycling life with which we can all identify. when my residence was in a mainland town, a hill (with a small posh restaurant near the top) was all that separated us from the next town, and after watching robert millar ride away from everyone to win a tour stage, i rode my ten speed up that hill with the same degree of abandon. unfortunately, abandon was all i had at my disposal, because climbing was certainly not in my armoury at the time. if robert made it look that easy, how hard to could it be? it looked ever so simple on the telly.
that the principal character of two broad arrows, on his steel bike (the one with cables coming out the top of the levers), met with the same gravitational pull, was one of those moments of simulacrum. and for those who dream of being able to ride in countryside such as that depicted in the movie, join me for the ride of the falling rain next year. there's lots of that over here.
of course, the chap in the movie had a bit of assistance to get him up and over the summit (nobody but me needs assistance on the descents), in this case we must believe that it is the spirit of sean kelly on a vitus frame and dressed in a kas jersey. and i presume that the spirit is alive and well, and living in that sheepdog sitting on the far side of the cattle grid. the only disappointing part was that the cyclist walked over the cattle grid; what was he thinking? no wonder he needed assistance up the hill. cattle grids are almost as character building as a headwind.
unlike a throw of the dice, two broad arrows can be appraised on more than one level. i'm inclined to go for the 'pure escapism' point of view. graeme obree wrote in the flying scotsman about how the bicycle allowed him freedom, and many another professional cyclist has experienced a similar start to an illustrious career. it's why we ride; days away from the trials and tribulations, particularly sunny days. we've all watched some poor sod wearing the yellow jersey, having gained it by accident, ride out of his skin to hang onto a jersey he wasn't actually looking for in the first place. that's a sean kelly day.
tell me you haven't wondered how the heck you managed to get home in that headwind, or over that last hill? a sean kelly day.
thankfully, this is likely the last of the rapha reviews you will have to suffer, given that next week's movie is d'acciaio by ben ingham, and i've already reviewed that. i'm not sure quite what the point of commissioning these three movies was in the first place, since two of them have no reference, visual or otherwise, to any item of rapha clothing. but apparently 23,000 of us watched a throw of the dice last week, and there was many a murmer on twitter and the forums, so in a viral sense (i'm a modern man; i know all the right buzzwords) i'm sure i could jump to at least one or two conclusions.
either way, i consider two broad arrows a success, one that should be made into a series, in which case i can't wait for episode two. hopefully both mr moat and mr mottram are reading.
posted thursday 19 august 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
in my mid-teens, i was highly absorbed by the technicalities of the motor car; i have since realised the error of my ways, and it's not a past of which i am proud, but there seems little point in denying it. in truth this likely makes me one of those born again cyclists, a member of the self-righteous that it is likely wise to avoid by crossing to the other side of the street. however, in the early seventies, the lotus formula one team, under the leadership of the late colin chapman, developed the lotus 56b, powered by a pratt and whitney gas turbine engine. my absorption with the technical had only just allowed me to discover how the infernal combustion engine operated; the notion that there was such a thing as a gas turbine came as something of a shock. i had visions of those side pods with the top mounted naca air ducts, containing the equivalent of a calor gas stove. thus, in the days long before google and wikipedia, it was down to the local library to find out how such power sources operated.
of course, an engine born as a means to getting aircraft off the ground was never quite going to succeed in hurtling emerson fittipaldi round any formula one circuit you care to name, principally because the darned thing was just too heavy, despite its power output of over 500bhp. another reason given for its eventual withdrawal from formula one was a substantial degree of overcomplexity, and that's something i have just met up with in a bicycle.
while all will be properly revealed at the appropriate time when the bicycle review appears on these pages, it doesn't seem to be giving too much away to bring the gearing of said bicycle to your attention. what it does and how well it does it is for a later date, but it's unlikely we'll be seeing the rohloff hub gear on a start-line near us anytime soon. this is a 14 speed hub gear operated by one cable that is both pushed and pulled by the bar mounted gripshift like changer, and that's only the beginning of its complexity. while i do have a natural curiousity about mechanical devices that i don't understand, i often find on discovering their method of operation, i wish that curiousity would just go away.
in this case, it is simply a case of self-preservation. while i'm not in the habit of carrying a spare gear cable on each and every ride, it is a pretty simple task to replace front or rear gear cables on a derailleur equipped bicycle. the rohloff is, in this respect, a bit of an unknown quantity. while i think it unlikely that, on a brand new bicycle just out its rather flimsy and scarred box, any of the cables will decide to let go over the two to three week period that it is on test, stranger things have happened. i have absolutely no idea whether the rohloff remains in the gear it was in when the cable broke, or whether it plops into the biggest and most knee-crunching ration hidden within the shiny rear hub-casing.
it ill-behoves the intrepid bike reviewer to be unprepared in most respects; those reading are likely to realise just what a fraud i likely am, while the bicycle company will either laugh, cry or refuse to answer anymore e-mails. so i went looking at rohloff's website to assimilate enough information that will impress you all with my written words, and keep me safe in islay's outer reaches. unfortunately what i learned was even scarier than the internals of a pratt and whitney. it's impressive that any company would spend the hours of research and development necessary to produce such a complex arrangement of toothed wheels, bearings and actuators.
if you've taken a look at the photo at the top of the page, you will perhaps comprehend why the remainder of this article does not deal with how the heck all those complicated looking bits translate pedal power into forward motion. but then neither am i going to deal much with theoretical particle physics. so here is the quandary; if the bicycle is indeed thought to be the future of modern transport, it doesn't seem too much of a stretch to realise that the population at large will have to be convinced of the engineering integrity and operational simplicity of these future bicycles. in the case of the rohloff, operation could not be simpler, as all fourteen available gears can be actuated by one simple twist lever. however, much of the promise of the bicycle as the solution to the future, is its relative simplicity that will lend itself to a lower level of technology in manufacture and subsequent maintenance. while i understand that the rohloff is effectively a sealed unit, mostly devoid of any in-depth maintenance requirements, it's a darned sight harder to replace a gear cable than it is on an sti/ergopower/double-tap unit. even changing the cable on a sturmey archer is simplicity itself by comparison.
if you've got your hand up to tell me that's what bike shops are for, then i am totally in agreement, but cycling as the saviour of the world is going to result in many a bicycle situated in areas where bike shops are as common as team sky victories in the tour de france. this is no good reason to completely avoid such complexity if it cuts the mustard (so to speak), but i can't pretend that i don't find rohloff's system stunningly impressive and scary scary at the same time. if i was really clever, i'd invent something that straddled the middle ground.
no wonder you're laughing.
posted wednesday 18 august 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
"needing some air, he went into the garden. "ah, look at the afternoon light," he said, for shadows were forming dark zones in the pasture recesses, as they do in his masterpiece, 'the mountain.' he went over to a small shed in the corner of the garden, the back wall of which was made of finely carved wood shingles arranged in a design. "you see," he said, " the trouble they took for something that could not even be seen. that is what has been lost. it was lost when workers began selling their time. or as you say in america, when time became money."
the above piece of text comprises the words that greet visitors to richardsachs.com. quite the philosopher is richard, though i confess that i do not know from whence the quote comes, but the last sentence is the one that has perhaps the greatest relevance to the article in hand. if time has indeed become money, and there are many areas of commerce in which that has become true, then we're looking at price points rather than craftsmanship. i'm not one who disdains the world of carbon vis-a-vis the skills required in relation to the art of mr sachs, where the hands, eyes and brazing rod are king. just as the majority of us couldn't mitre two bits of tubing together, neither could we figure out what proportion of resin to carbon matt should be popped into the mold.
a skill is a skill, art is art, no matter the fabric of the end result.
progress dictates that techniques will change over time, as new technologies are discovered, and procedures are refined. but in many cases these are dictated by the number at the bottom of a spreadsheet, rather than purely on aesthetics and quality alone. richard sachs, along with many others of the world's great builders, still produces frames where quality is the standard that judges when one is ready to leave for the paintshop. take a look at the beautifully filed dropouts accompanying this article. while many of us are dictated to, and not always unhappily, by the national minimum wage, there's an outside possibility that richard's hourly rate becomes severely depleted during these extended bouts of file activity.
that's not his primary concern.
there's a trade-off between something as eminently desirable and distinctive as a lugged steel frame, with fastidiously filed and shaped road dropouts, and its performance relative to the carbon fibre (fiber?) that wore the king of the mountains jersey in this year's tour. while the carbon is pushing the limits of what can currently be achieved in this direction, richard sachs, vanilla, tony pereira, ron cooper, dario pegoretti and others are calmly pushing limits of their own, limits not entirely directed at ultimate performance. those in the carbon world are using finite element analysis to evolve their modern frames; if the computers are correct, then eventually, and it can already be seen in the world of four wheels, everything will look the same. carbon is an endlessly malleable material, far more so than steel tubing, but there is many an indiscretion being visited upon the black stuff in the quest for differentiation, that ironically is sending everyone on the same goose chase.
meanwhile, richard sachs et al calmly proceed with their craft, building bicycle frames in the same way today as they did all those years ago, aiming each and every time to perfect their art, something attained in each instance; until the next one. each and every one of them has to make a living, and can command healthy amounts of money for their output, but it is rarely the hourly rate that is their principal objective.
as the modern world encroaches in multifarious ways, it's worth remembering that the hand-crafted steel frame is just as modern. but rather than exploring new avenues of stiffness and rigidity, its progenitors continue to perfect skills judged principally by their own standards of perfection. quality control is in place throughout the industry, to a greater or lesser degree, but in the case of the individual builders, they are not only the fabricators, but also the quality control. stepping back along the line, they are also the design department.
ultimately, a bicycle is a bicycle; all look and function similarly if not identically; the art lies in the fastidious attention to detail that is oft-times concealed beneath several coats of paint. that is where the similarity perhaps ends.
you can see an entire richard sachs frame build here.
posted tuesday 17 august 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
major apologies for the delay in announcing the winners of this competition. i can blame no-one but myself for this travesty of justice, but hopefully those who took the time and trouble to enter haven't all gone off in the huff. these particular roadracers are an apt development of the original version, protecting the front mech, the seat tube and covering more of the wheels almost down to the ground. keeps the shoes cleaner.
the two winners are stephen seamark of wollaton, nottingham and robb rempel of milford, nebraska. your prizes will be on their way as soon as i remember where i put them (just kidding). thank you to the substantial number of entrants; very gratifying.
posted sunday 15 august 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
i have, i'm sure, touched on this subject before, however briefly, and while i and others can protest however much (or little) we like, it's something unlikely to get any better anytime soon.
thewashingmachinepost routinely deals with road cycling culture, by and large ignoring all developments that involve knobbly tyres fitted to springy farm gates. this is, contrary to popular opinion, not because i have little sympathy for the off-road community, but there are only so many hours in the day, and there are far too many websites and blogs that deal with this sub-section a great deal more comprehensively and satisfactorily than i could ever manage. so i graciously accept that the world, including mine, has need of pigeonholing, and adjust my perspectives accordingly.
in 1869, the russian chemist, dmitri mendeleev invented the periodic table, a system of abberviations and placement on a graphical chart that initially illustrated recurring trends in the properties of the elements depicted; hence the moniker periodic. as new elements have been discovered since the second half of the nineteenth century, the table's layout has adapted, also accommodating new theoretical models of chemical behaviour. the periodic table is now somewhat endemic within chemistry circles because it has provided a systematic way to classify and compare many different forms of chemical behaviour. at present, there are 118 elements, which is way more pigeonholing than i'd find myself capable of.
the graphical representation used by mendeleev has not only turned out to be a virtually foolproof way to represent chemical thingies, but a system that has been successfully used to represent stuff other than chemical elements. last year i came upon a verisimilitude classifying the uci road race season as major tours, stage races, classics and minor classics in a rather clever pastiche that still lurks somewhere on my macbook.
pigeonholing also comes in very handy during reviews, where it becomes easier to affirm the intended use or target audience based on any outcomes realised. so while i may rail vehemently against the notion in principle, it may be a bit of a vacuous position to hold.
that point was brought home even more forcibly, and co-incidentally quite thematically, on receipt of a peek at the latest additions to the ventoux-wear range, arriving just in time to take advantage of the sultry summer weather (a mild touch of cynicism about the weather there). ventoux have classified the varying styles into a list of coherent styles; the first of which (heroes) now features a superb eddy merckx design which, quite literally, contains every one of the cannibal's copious number of victories in a design that is as graphically pleasing as it is textually. the monuments selection is likely self-explanatory, but contains a very clever flanders graphic consisting of a lion of flanders composed of hundreds of much smaller lions of flanders. seems so gut-wrenchingly obvious, but no less outstanding for all that.
but the pinnacle of t-shirt pigeonholing arrives in the additions to the vive la cyclisme range, allowing those excluded by the subject limitation of the post, to proudly proclaim their alternative affiliation. stealing very cleverly from mendeleev's original idea, t-shirts can now be had for roadies, time-triallists, mountain bikers and sportive delegates, not only alerting the unwary to such proclivities, but sub-detailing the very fabric of each universe as demonstrated by real (frame) elements such as carbon, aluminium and titanium. very smartly done; boldly graphic yet subtle at the same time.
all the new additions along with the original base range announced last year, are available directly from the ventoux-wear website. screen-printed on heavyweight cotton, the shirts can be had from as little as £25. unlike a number of t-shirts on the market, aimed directly at the cycling fraternity, those from ventoux seem a tad more considered than some.
i just need to figure out if i'm a roadie or a sportive rider. or both.
posted monday 16 august 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
as of this year's spring/summer range, rapha introduced one or two items towards building a reasonably comprehensive women's range, a range that is about to be augmented with the forthcoming release of the autmn/winter range. always keen to make sure that i'm not accused of remaining 'one of the boys' to the exclusion of any female readers i may have garnered along the way (it's no use denying it, i know there's at least one or two of you out there), the lovely miss gem atkinson of bianchista fame, has been kind enough to test products from the range on my/your behalf. in the final instalment from the spring/summer range, here are gem's impressions of the rapha women's shorts.
The quest for the perfect pair of cycling shorts for me remains one of those mysterious journeys that one ventures on in search of the nirvana of comfort. Riders recommend so many different brands and models of chamois it can really send one's head in a spin.
Although the idea of a few Lycra panels doesn't seem a great science over which to afford much deliberation, the fact is that riding in a sub-par performance pair of shorts can be somewhat of a nightmare. In the past I have found myself miles from home and somewhat uncomfortable in the saddle, and once that niggling feeling of something not being quite right, ahem, in that area kicks in, it is incredibly hard to shake off, each turn of the pedal firing an internal dialogue rueing my choice of shorts.
Rapha have now thrown their hat into the 'ladies high-end shorts' ring, with a premier offering of plain, classically styled, multi-panel half shorts. The first thing that strikes on opening Rapha's idiosyncratic packaging, is the quality of the Lycra. Theirs is a matted material that feels incredibly soft to the touch. A good sign surely? The chamois is a female specific model from Cytech, billed as the perfect insert designed for long distance riding. I agree. Two reflective tabs sit quietly on the rear of the shorts beside a plain logo. Be confident that these will dazzle when headlights cross them, enhancing visibility in a subtle yet firm manner.
Pulling the half shorts on was, for me, a new experience, having been loyal to the bib-short cause for as long as I have been cycling. I expected to be not exactly enthralled riding without bibs, but I have to say, the way these are constructed has won me over to this alternative option. The high-cut back hugs sufficiently to be worry free of revealing too much, for want of a better description, and they stayed in place easily, even when moving positions, such as onto the drops. The front is adorned with a 'maternity style' waistband; a big thick band of supple Lycra sans gripper, designed to be unrestrictive. It's within the design of this waist area that I was surprised, rather pleasantly i hasten to add, by not having to stop mid ride and hoik the shorts up. They just sat where they were supposed to, quiet and unassuming the whole time (much like my own cycling style; the 'sit in the back and just get on with it' school of riding).
I've often struggled in bringing myself to wear lady-specific shorts, mainly due to the seemingly unspoken agreement between manufacturers to only offer them in an obscenely short leg length, and nauseating colours; cherry red, petal pink or seawave-blue. Yuk, yuk, yuk. I don't particularly harbour the desire to look as though I'm cycling in the hotpants worn to the euro-discotheque on a sordid night before the ride. Rather, even though I'm female, I would prefer to wear shorts similar in style and colour to those of my favourite riders; a decent length black pair, fashioned from high quality Lycra and soft chamois that I won't be aware of 20 minutes into a ride. Rapha have, in my opinion, delivered on all fronts, and I look forward to putting in many more miles wearing such a comfy and subtly-styled pair of shorts. In fact I'm confident that these shorts would even garner the approval of Helen Bidd of the guardian, who blogged her disdain for our key Lycra uniform piece.
©gem atkinson 2010
posted sunday 15 august 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
having moved to islay to impersonate an artist, i figured it to be a good choice to divest myself of percussive accoutrements prior to the move, since there was a likelihood of such getting in the way of the single-mindedness i deemed necessary to succeed at a new career. well, i didn't quite get rid of everything, hanging onto at least a couple of pairs of drumsticks and a practice pad. all went well for a couple of years until i found myself with a hankering to hit some drums now and again, though acquiring a complete drumset at the time seemed somewhat of an over-reach. so i came to an arrangement with the local secondary school that, while the cleaners were in between four and five pm, i could enter the music room and paradiddle an hour away. in return, i agreed to assist any pupils with drumming tendencies, to improve in ways that the resident music teacher was unable to accomplish.
this moved on to turning up for the occasional evening band practice, where a colleague and i would attempt to fashion raw talent into some sort of semblance of a rock 'n' roll band. notwithstanding the notion that the stye of music ought to be a form of rebellion, and thus being coached by adults was perhaps slightly counter-productive, nothing actually came of it, because neither of us providing the tutoring were particularly geared towards the needs of those attempting a lot of out of tune, and out of time playing.
however, one of the chaps i had been attempting to teach drumming for a year or so, seemed to have hit a mental block regarding his place in the universe. my co-conspirator was a competent guitarist, and in an attempt to define the rudiments of timekeeping, he would play a variety of strummy stuff while my pupil would play along with each musical choice. it was very speedily evident that, no matter the tempo chosen by the guitarist, the drummer always played at his own speed. even when the disparity was pointed out, he seemed unable to come to terms with just what was required to match drumming with strumming, and we decided at that point not to continue.
as detailed in my tedious report of the ride of the falling rain, by the late nineties, i was back to being the sole cycling representative on the island, freeing myself from a peloton, but all too easily falling into the trap of considering that a 25 mile ride was a not inconsiderable distance, and that my pace across such was easily the equivalent of andy hampsten or brian smith. i was a legend in my own lunchtime. it took the arrival of the mighty dave t, a man steeped in the history of club runs and time-trialing to realise just how easy it is to deceive. one sunday ride of around 45 miles, at a pace that had my heart-rate monitor seriously worried, was all that was needed to point out that perhaps i had been reading the wrong script. i need not add to the humiliation by pointing out that the mighty dave is more than one or two years older than i.
it has been often said, relative to a number of activities, that the best way to improve is to involve yourself with those better or faster, for not only do you realise what is possible, but giant steps must be taken in order not to be left behind. left to one's own devices, much like water, means we're likely to find our own level; ask a drummer to play a simple beat and they will almost always return the same tempo whenever asked. it's a comfort zone. and the same applies to cycling; not too fast and not too slow. probably the worst offenders are those on a regular commute, given that they enter a groove after a while, knowing just how much time it takes to get to work, corelated to how late it's possible to leave the house. improvement could well be aided by leaving a couple of minutes later each day, thus forcing an increased pace.
while this may be a commendable recipe for those intent on improving performance, it's an accepted fact that whatever conditions the body is subjected to, it rapidly becomes accustomed, and fitness stagnates. as we all advance in years, giving that stagnation a little fright now and again wouldn't do any harm, and could conceivably add a frisson to the sunday ride, daily commute or just a solo potter about the estates. drummers have click tracks with which to conspire, and i suppose most of us have the cycling equivalent strapped to the bars in the shape of a cycle computer, but it's very easy to become the doobie brothers of the pedals, and simply lay back into that groove once more.
perhaps we could all give this notion a kick start and begin training for the tour de france next year? that guy armstrong's not riding so there's at least one place up for grabs, and contador isn't getting any younger. it's important to have a goal to aim for, don't you think?
posted saturday 14 august 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
imagine if, in the weekly copy of the comic, we were all given a free cycle jersey. no names, no pack drill, just a regular jersey with three rear pockets and a zip at the front. if we all got one, would there be any point in reviewing it? because even those in countries without a weekly comic would fail to see the point, even if the review were a goodie, as they would be unable to purchase the freebie. i underline the hypotheticalness of this presumption by re-iterating that i no longer buy my weekly copy anyway (though i have been known to have keek at the copy in debbie's occasionally). of course, whether to review or not, is simply a matter between me and my cunning interweb strategy, one which nobody is a part of except me. and i shall use that excuse whenever i feel threatened.
so, now that the first of rapha's web only movies has been aired, and you have all had the chance to view it as many times as you like, is there any point in my reviewing it? do i have such an elevated sense of my own worth, that i think your appreciation of this filmic enndeavour will depend on my own interpretation? of course not. in much the same way that i wouldn't dream of telling you which washing up liquid to use, i would certainly hesitate to provide my opinion of a 15 minute movie by nick livesey that you all have the opportunity to watch for yourselves. but then, in retrospect, i have spent much of my washingmachinepost career telling you about books that you can all read, dvds that you can all buy, and bikes you can all ride, so why should a web movie be any different?
thus, in the fine tradition of teaching my granny to suck eggs, i will proceed to post a review of a throw of the dice, if only to remain impartial, having already reviewed ben ingham's d'acciaio in these very pixels.
ostensibly, the movie is about the lion of flanders, johan museeuw, and his life threatening accident in the arenberg forest during the paris roubaix of 1998. museeuw crashed and broke his kneecap in four places, and at one point doctors feared they would have to amputate his leg. they certainly decreed that he would have difficulty walking again, let alone riding a bike. history tells that johan returned two years later to win paris-roubaix, and again in 2002. notwithstanding the accusations and admissions of having imbibed one or two nippy sweeties that have ensued since museeuw's retirement, that's some comeback.
many years ago now, when i had pretensions of being an artist, i spent large portions of each day, sitting on cliffs overlooking the atlantic making charcoal drawings. the ultimate reduction was to portray those cliffs in as few strokes of the thick black charcoal as was visually practical. problem was that, unless you happened to have been sitting next to me when i was making those drawings, it's quite likely that the resulting drawings were all but indecipherable. this was brought home in one of those almost eureka moments when, curating an exhibition of mine and other works, two elderly ladies stared for a commendable period at one of my drawings of those cliffs. one turned to the other and said "i'm not sure we're well enough educated to understand this.". in this respect, i felt my drawings were failing if the majority couldn't comprehend the marks i was making.
now there are many artists whose egos allow them the luxury to suffer such arrows of incomprehension; in fact, many live for such moments; it's a badge of honour. and it's just possible that nick livesey is one of those artists, because even having watched a throw of the dice more than twice, i'm still not sure i have the faintest idea what's going on. don't get me wrong, the filming and editing are quite superb, but i seriously doubt that the point of any film is to engender a i wonder how they did that? during viewing. to me that's admiring the technique of execution rather than the subject itself. a bit like respecting rembrandt for his brushwork.
maybe i'm just a bit on the dense side, but i can't see any real connection between french soldiers in arenberg in 1806, bloody april on the western front in 1917, and museeuw's accident in 1998. perhaps just a tad pretentious methinks. or perhaps i'm just a bit on the dense side.
still, many a career has been built on pretension, and it came as somewhat of a surprise to read in the credits that the film is based on a true story. written and developed by nick livesey; does that mean the historical bits are true? how does he know? ultimately, as robert millar once said, it's only entertainment, and i can't deny that it fulfilled that function admirably. and i also rapha for having the confidence to commission the film, and let it arrive without interference. if you haven't seen what i'm droning on about, click over to rapha's website before too long, because, we are assured, when it's gone, it's gone.
posted friday 13 august 2010..........................................................................................................................................................................................................